Notre Dame MAINTAINS her way to Southern Cal

What a fun seniors day out in South Bend. Wild weather, great individual performances, record-breaking stats, and most importantly, a dominant blowout win over a heated rival. That win puts Notre Dame in prime position to potentially end the year 9-3 after a trip to Los Angeles next week. Quite an achievement after three defeats until October 15th.

Notre Dame has been very unpredictable at home and has played its worst football against bad teams. Boston College earned that designation all year, and it certainly deserves it today. A dominant win like this was the perfect way to send off the seniors with a memorable win, comfort the cold Irish faithful at home, and turn all focus to sunny Southern California.

Let’s take a look at 10 aspects of that feat that the Irish can use to propel them to LA next week to face the Trojans with great momentum.

1

“It just means more”

11/19/2022; South Bend, Indiana, United States; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Marcus Freeman reacts to an official scoring during the second quarter against the Boston College Eagles at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Make no mistake. There is always some “bad blood” in this rivalry. It’s just the way nature intended. Beating Boston College is one thing, completely dominating them is quite another. The SEC likes to say “it just means more”. For the Irish fan base, Boston College’s humiliation means “just more”.

Also of note to me is that Marcus Freeman and Tommy Rees seemed to be flat out throughout the game. Starting quarterback Drew Pyne was also involved in Notre Dame’s last offensive drive. This level of going for the kill is new to Notre Dame.

2

Seniors Day

11/19/2022; South Bend, Indiana, United States; The Notre Dame Leprechaun stands in the student section as time runs out in the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Boston College Eagles at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

What a memorable final game for the outgoing players. After a bumpy start to the season at home with two bitter defeats, the Irish defended their territory well in the second half of the year. Veterans are the protectors of football culture, it was important to leave this victory as a legacy. A standard.

To the 25 Notre Dame athletic students and their families. The Irish fanbase really appreciates the sacrifice and dedication of everyone involved. Thank you for giving your all to Notre Dame and good luck in all your future endeavors.

3

snow globe II

11/19/2022; South Bend, Indiana, United States; Ground crews clear snow from the field boundaries during the fourth quarter of the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Boston College Eagles at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone likes a snow game, right? What a fun twist on this special day. Luckily for them, the Irish were in control when the snow started to fall heavily and weren’t under pressure to rack up more points to win the game.

The last Notre Dame game my grandfather attended was the famous Notre Dame vs. Penn State snow bowl affair in 1992. Anything that inspires that kind of nostalgia is hard for me to appreciate on an existential level.

4

Momentum program

11/19/2022; South Bend, Indiana, United States; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Audric Estime (7) runs the ball while Boston College Eagles cornerback Jalon Williams (14) defends during the fourth quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

This couldn’t have been a better performance when it comes to putting the momentum into a gargantuan matchup with another bitter rival, USC. Any good vibes will surely help matters in next week’s finals.

Notre Dame’s path to defeating the Trojans is crystal clear, own both lines of scrimmage. That’s the case with every football match but I think these are really favorable encounters for the Irish that they can and should take advantage of next week. Both sides of the ball flexed their muscles today, a great sign for LA’s future.

5

CB Benjamin Morrison

11/19/2022; South Bend, Indiana, United States; Notre Dame Fighting Irish cornerback Benjamin Morrison (20) celebrates after an interception in the first quarter against the Boston College Eagles at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Irish have a rising defensive star on their hands. And the best news? He’s a real novice. Benjamin Morrison had two interceptions against Clemson, the greatest of any moment, and caught three more in brutal conditions today.

Instincts like Morrison’s cannot be taught. Some players just have a knack for knowing where they need to be and how to get there. He is blessed with this gift. Morrison is a Secondary School Captain-in-Waiting. A true leader by example.

6

EN Isaiah Foskey

11/19/2022; South Bend, Indiana, United States; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defenseman Isaiah Foskey (7) acknowledges the crowd after a sack in the second quarter against the Boston College Eagles. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Foskey, often known these days for his punt blocking skills, surpassed Justin Tuck against Boston College for most Notre Dame sacks of all time at 25+. He has an NFL future ahead of him and what a great opportunity to smash the record in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

Does it still have an electrical power in it? A pause in USC’s punt-and-pass game would go a long way in helping Notre Dame’s comeback tour reach its ultimate goal in the second half. 9-3

7

TE Michael Mayer

11/19/2022; South Bend, Indiana, United States; Notre Dame Fighting Irish tight end Michael Mayer (87) dives for the pylon as Boston College Eagles defenseman Josh DeBerry (21) defends in the first quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of current Irish but soon-to-be NFL stars, let’s not forget Michael Mayer, who became only the 13th receiver in Irish history to eclipse 2,000 yards in a career. Being able to do this from any position is impressive. Doing this from the TE position is truly exemplary.

Michael Mayer knows that the bread and butter of USC is the passing game. I think he’s taking this personally and will want to put on his own show in Hollywood in his last regular season game as a parting gift to the Irish faithful.

8th

O Line U

10/22/2022; South Bend, Indiana, United States; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Chris Tyree (25) celebrates with offensive lineman Blake Fisher (54) after a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the UNLV Rebels at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

This group had a very rocky start to the year, but has gradually developed into one of the absolute strengths of the team. O Line U was definitely right on tune today with 281 rushing yards at nearly 7.5 yards per carry.

Logan Diggs, Audric Estime and Chris Tyree all played their part, rushing for 122, 71, 50 yards and 4 touchdowns between them. This group, working in sync with the offense, had to be the identity of Notre Dame to win this year, and everyone involved took up that challenge.

9

The defence

11/19/2022; South Bend, Indiana, United States; Boston College Eagles quarterback Emmett Moorehead (14) runs the ball while Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Marist Liufau (8) pursues in the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

A team cannot score less than 0 points. 0 is perfection in football. Notre Dame dominated Boston College’s offense throughout the snowy afternoon. Boston College rushed for a total of 56 yards, 1.6 per carry, turned the ball over five times and allowed 4 sacks and 7 TFLS. domination.

That sort of performance should have the Irish defense sweating before the challenge of slowing down USC’s powerful offense. The Irish have to prove themselves and are determined to keep the rivalry under control in the first year with new head coaches at both sides.

10

K Blake Group

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – NOVEMBER 5: Blake Grupe #99 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish shoots a field goal against the Clemson Tigers during the first half at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

After going through a bit of a rough patch mid-year, Blake Grupe bested Boston College in brutal winter conditions to convert to 3/3 FGs with a long of 46 and also 5/5 XPs. Very impressive performance for such rare and treacherous conditions

Next Saturday in Los Angeles against the dangerous Trojans for points. No one may be left on the field. Having a confident kicker stepping into such a big moment can only be a positive as the Irish look to secure victory number 9.

For more news and advice from Ireland, follow John on Twitter @alwaysirishINC, Always Irish on Youtube and/or your preferred audio podcast provider.

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